This is a guest post by a popular food blogger, Sai Priya who pens down her recipes and food reviews on her blog My Cooking Canvas.
Odisha echoes the grand visuals of Jagannath Temple, Rath Yatra, Puri beach, and some notable historical sites. However, the offbeat destination is beyond the common perception. The lesser explored state offers some of the spectacular remote corners, heritage villages, fascinating tribal culture, food scene, and picturesque beaches.
IS AUTHENTIC CUISINE OF ODISHA UNDERRATED?
Unlike other states in India, the traditional cuisine of the state has never been a highlight. Because the scrumptious local, humble cuisine of Odisha has not been explored by many. Simple yet delectable authentic dishes of Odisha are everything, but not outlandish. So, the beauty of the traditional food of the state is its simplicity.
Moreover, Odia Cuisine brings all the seasonal flavors to its food with minimal spices. Whenever we talk about the authentic dishes of Odisha, the first thing that comes up is Chena Poda (Burnt Cheese) and Dalma (Lentil soup with vegetables). However, Odia food is much more than just these two popular dishes.
The state flaunts an array of culinary delights from humble dal to exotic fish and meat preparation. In other words, there is a wide variety of dishes for all kinds of travelers. Whether you are a hardcode non-vegetarian, vegetarian or Vegan, Odisha has a lot to offer to the foodies.
Odia food is healthy in nature since there is no heavy use of spices. The traditional food of Odisha is not greasy, or unhealthy. So, the authentic Odia cuisine is simple, saporous, and cooked with minimum Indian spices. For instance, the Odia people use basic spices like Phutana (Indian five spices), Dry chilies, Ambula (dry mango), Mustard paste, and Turmeric Powder in their traditional cooking.
The traditional food of Odisha is a gastronomic treat. Until and unless you taste it, you won’t get the real taste of it.
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In this post, I have listed the Top 15 authentic dishes of Odisha to try on your next visit to the land of Temples. So, find out the culinary delights of Odisha and relish it whenever you are in Odisha next time.
ODIA BREAKFAST DISHES
1. Chakuli and Matar Tarkari
Chakuli & Matar Tarkari is one of the traditional delicacies loved by Odia on the Breakfast table. In other words, it is one of the popular Odia breakfast dishes.
Matar Tarkari is the white peas curry where potatoes can’t be missed. So, it is a common dish that goes well with mudhi (puff rice), Upma, Dahi Vada, and of course Chakuli.
Chakuli is a soft round pancake, prepared with Rice & Urad Dal batter. However, Chakuli is also served with Mutton Curry.
One can also have Chakuli with jaggery or sugar and it is best complemented with a hot cup of tea. So, don’t miss it and include it in your list.
Chakuli & Matar Tarkari is a traditional dish of Odisha
2. Dahi Vada Aloo Dum
Dahi Vada Aloo Dum is a popular street snack of Odisha. The lentil fritters are soaked in curd and served with spicy potato curry in chaat form.
As a result, it makes for a great filling breakfast as well as a spicy snack to relish. Cuttack town offers the best Dahi Vada Aloo Dum in Odisha. So, relish it in Odisha.
Dahi Vada Aloo Dum is a popular Odia street Snack
VEGETARIAN ODIA DISHES
When one talks about the authentic dishes of Odisha, the first thing which comes to mind is the famous Dalma.
To be precise, it’s a lentil soup with seasonal veggies. However, if you are talking about the Temple style Dalma, then you have to do without veggies like carrot, potatoes, French beans, Cauliflower, etc.
Because these vegetables are counted as foreign vegetables that they do not find a place in the temple cuisine in Odisha.
The zing factor is the roasted cumin and dry chili powder added to Dalma at the end. Mostly, Dalma is paired with steamed rice. However, Dalma is also served with varieties of Pithas and Roties.
Dalma is the most authentic dish of Odisha
Kanhika is a sweet fragrant rice dish from Odisha. This is one of the authentic dishes of Odisha and loved by the people.
This delectable rice dish is cooked with some local spices, dry fruits, and a considerable amount of Ghee. And, it tastes heavenly when served hot.
Kanhika is one of the favorite traditional dishes among Odia People because of its aromatic flavors.
Moreover, Kanhika is part of Chaappan Bhoga in the Puri Jagannath temple. Chappan Bhoga which means 56 varieties of Mahaprasada is part of daily offerings to Lord Jagannath, which are cooked in clay pots. Kanhika is basically sweet pulao in Odia style.
Kanhika is one of the authentic dishes of Odisha
5. Saga Badi Bhaja
Another traditional Odia dish is Saga Badi Bhaja. Badis are the result of a coarse paste of urad dal sun-dried in the form of small buttons on a cotton cloth.
There are many delicacies prepared with this. For Instance, Badi Chura, Aloo Baigana Badi, and Badi Tomato khata are few of the badi varieties.
Likewise, Saga Badi is another treat for vegetarians, prepared with Badi and Saga (Leafy vegetables).
Moreover, the Koshala (Amaranth leaves) is one of the most loved Saga.
The Odia people use a dash of mustard oil, crushed garlic, dry chilies, and sun-dried badis to prepare this dish.
One of the must try authentic dishes of Odisha
6. Kakharu Phula Bhaja
Pumpkin flowers are available throughout the year in Odisha. The fried Pumpkin flowers are one of the most favorite local delicacies in the eastern parts of India.
The Odia people use rice batter to coat the Pumpkin flowers and then shallow fry it. As a result, you get these crispy fritters.
Moreover, the Kakharu Phula Bhaja is best served with vegetarian thali. However, you can also have it with a hot cup of tea in the evening.
Fried Pumpkin flowers is one of the top Odia delicacies
NON-VEGETARIAN ODIA DISHES
7. Machha Besara
Machha Besara is one of the quintessential traditional Odia dishes and an absolute favorite among non-vegetarians.
In addition, the thick black mustard seed paste crowns the dish with a culinary pride! Mostly, Rohu or Catla fish is preferred to cook the Machha Besara.
Moreover, this variety is easily sighted at those fishmongers on the roadside in Odisha!
The Odia people add a generous amount of Garlic paste, Phutana, Red Chilies, and Ambula (dry mango) to cook Machha Besara. In case you don’t have dry mango, then you can use Tomato to bring the right amount of sourness!
The crackling noise of Phutana (Indian Five Spices) when it slips into the hot oil marks the beginning of the preparation of this delicacy!
Machha Besara is certainly one of the most popular authentic dishes of Odisha. Moreover, this local delicacy is always high on demand for fish lovers. So, this is a must-try for food lovers in Odisha.
Machha Besara is the top favourite fish dish of Odisha.
8. Machha Munda Chencheda
Machha Munda Chenched is one of the much loved non-vegetarian Odia delicacies. This authentic dish of Odisha is cooked with Fish head and seasonal veggies.
The most preferred vegetable is Cabbage to cook Machha Munda Chencheda. This dish is seasoned with minimal spices like Garlic, chilies, and turmeric powder.
In other words, this dish is an absolute delight. This authentic Odia delicacy is best served with steamed rice.
Machha Munda Chencheda, another local dish of Odisha
9. Mudhi Mansha
Mudhi Mangsa (Mutton served with Puff Rice), is an authentic dish of Odisha. This local Odia food belongs to Baripada in Odisha.
Baripada is the cultural center of North Odisha. Moreover, this place is famous for its ‘Mudhi’. Whether it is a wedding or a family function, Odia people from Baripada always serve Mudhi (Puff Rice) at the end of any meal.
As a result, serving Mudhi (Puff Rice) after any meal has become a tradition in the eastern part of Odisha.
Mudhi Mangsa (Mutton served with Puff Rice
PITHA( RICE CAKE)
The word ‘Pitha’ waves boundless happiness, an essence of euphoria swirls as the process starts. The eastern part of Odisha is where most of the authentic pithas (Rice Cakes ) belong. In the culinary history, pithas are an integral part of the festivities in the state of Assam and Bengal.
10. Monda Pitha
Monda Pitha is one of the Odia delicacies which is easily sighted at all the festive occasions. Monda Pitha is prepared using rice dough with rice flour and stuffed with Coconut. After that, they steam the stuffed rice balls.
Once the steaming process is over, the Monda Pitha is let to rest to cool down at room temperature. It tastes heavenly. So, don’t miss it in Odisha.
In other words, Monda Pitha is one of the most likable authentic Odia pitha varieties.
Monda Pitha is one must try Odia delicacies
11. Poda Pitha
The Raja celebration is incomplete without Poda Pitha. This Raja festive of Odisha is held in the month of June with the arrival of monsoon.
Firstly, the dough is prepared with rice flour, Jaggery, and water to make Poda Pitha. Secondly, it is placed in an earthen Chulha to bake. Moreover, the dough is wrapped in sal leaves.
Thirdly, coconut slices and fennel seeds are added. And, finally, after it is baked completely, the slices are served.
Because of the earthen Chulha, the smoky aroma makes it more relishable. Moreover, the hint of fennel exquisitely complements the flavors.
Poda Pitha is one of the authentic dishes of Odisha
12. Kakara Pitha
Kakara Pitha is a fried Pitha, which is prepared with semolina and coconut. Unlike other Pithas, this can be easily found at most of the breakfast stalls in Bhubaneswar and Cuttack.
This Odia delicacy is best served with a hot cup of tea.
Kakara Pitha is another popular pithas from Odisha
13. Enduri Pitha
Enduri Pitha is another Odia delicacy. However, this is winter (Season) delicacy. Traditionally, turmeric leaves are used to steam this Pitha. One can also use Banana leaves to make this pitha.
Enduri Pitha tastes delicious when served fresh. One must not miss this pitha while traveling in Odisha in winter.
Enduri Pitha is a must try Odia delicacy
Khaja is one of the likable crispy layered fritters and commonly found almost everywhere in the state. Moreover, it is a traditional sweet pastry from Odisha.
Firstly, the dough is prepared with flour, sugar, and ghee. After that, it is deep-fried in oil until it turns golden in color. Finally, this crispy fritter is soaked in sugar syrup after frying it.
It tastes super delicious. So, khaja should be on your list when you are in Odisha.
However, it is believed that the recipe curator of this world-famous Dessert is Lord Jagannath himself.
Khaja is one of the must try authentic dishes of odisha
It is a sin if you miss Chennapoda in Odisha. The famed Odia dish is a global obsession when it comes to Odia dessert. Chennapoda is one of the authentic dishes of Odisha.
So, it is considered as the queen of dessert.
The most loved dish originated in Nayagarh town of Odisha. Traditionally, Chennapoda is cooked on an earthen chulha.
The grainy texture and smoky flavor have been satiating food lovers. To make Chennapoda, the Chenna mixture is slow-cooked for hours and wrapped in Sal leaves.
Chenna means cheese and Poda means burnt. This is an Odia version of cheesecake. So, everyone must relish it.
Chennapoda, the most famous authentic dishes of Odisha
About the Guest Author: Sai Priya
I am Sai Priya, a Food Blogger, and a Food stylist. I love exploring new places and meeting people. Learning different cultures and all those lost recipes is what I enjoy the most. Cooking is like meditation to me.
The reproduction of any of the content, including the photographs without prior consent/permission of the writer, is strictly prohibited and a violation of the same will attract legal action.
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